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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ASSESSING CONSERVATION EFFECTS ON WATER QUANTITY AND QUALITY AT FIELD AND WATERSHED SCALES

Location: National Soil Erosion Research Lab

Title: Soil greenhouse gas emissions from three decades long-term experimental field of corn-soybean rotation and tillage treatments

Authors
item Seo, J -
item Vyn, T -
item Gal, A -
item Smith, Douglas

Submitted to: Korean Journal of Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 14, 2012
Publication Date: March 30, 2012
Citation: Seo, J., Vyn, T.J., Gal, A., Smith, D.R. 2012. Soil greenhouse gas emissions from three decades long-term experimental field of corn-soybean rotation and tillage treatments. Korean Journal of Crop Science. 57(1):89-97.

Interpretive Summary: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural soils is important to minimize the impacts of global climate change. This study investigated greenhouse gas emissions from plots with a 30-year history of corn-soybean rotation under: 1) no-till, 2) chisel tillage or 3) plow tillage. There were few differences in carbon dioxide emissions by treatment. Nitrous oxide emissions were generally greater early during corn years, after fertilization. No-tillage decreased nitrous oxide emissions by 64% compared to chisel tillage and by 39% compared to plowing. No-tillage appears to be a practice that can minimize greenhouse gas emissions while saving labor and fuel required to perform tillage operations and also without reducing grain yield.

Technical Abstract: Reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from upland crop field as well as paddy field is being required, but little information on GHG emissions according to cultivation practices in upland field is available. Soil GHG emissions during the growing season were investigated in the field of three decades rotation and tillage treatments which were consisted of plow, chisel tillage and no tillage in west central Indiana, USA in 2006. Seasonal cumulative CO2 emissions were not different among treatments. CH4 emission increased a little in plow tillage during early soybean growing season. Most of N2O emission occurred during early corn growing season after N-fertilizer application from mid-June to mid-July, and was significantly affected by tillage practices in which seasonal cumulative N2O emission was significantly higher under chisel tillage. N2O emission under no-tillage was lower about 64% and 39% than that under chisel tillage and plow tillage, respectively. No-tillage practice with rotation of corn and soybean seems to be promising in point of less GHG emission and less labor for cultivation without grain yield reduction.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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